How a Single Organizing Idea can Change Business for Good

At the core of the world’s most admired businesses lies a powerful Single Organizing Idea. These organizations deliver sustainable economic and social benefit; they unite people, attract investment, inspire innovation, pioneer new efficiencies, and enjoy positive reputation.

Such businesses are admired but they remain a rare breed.

Though the tides of change are engaging the minds of business leaders, most are still trapped behind their brands and an approach to corporate social responsibility that is out of step with a connected society that increasingly questions ‘who’ these businesses really are and what drives their purpose.

This book is about how businesses can adopt a Single Organizing Idea and, more importantly, why they have to. Drawing on stories and case studies, and with reference to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, its no-nonsense approach sets aside the ideals to confront the realities of business reform. It demonstrates the power and potential that a Single Organizing Idea can bring to any business prepared to take its head out of the sand and proactively respond to today’s challenges.


Part 1: A Change of Fortune. 

A short fictional story of our times. 

Part 2: The Case for Change. 

Chapter 1 - The reshaping of capitalism. 

Chapter 2 - The waning of CSR. 

Chapter 3 - The ascent of values. 

Chapter 4 - The surge of technology. 

Chapter 5 - The rise of reputation and the fall of brand. 

Chapter 6 – Turning the dial. 

Part 3: Changing for Good. 

Chapter 7 – Phase 1: Identifying. 
A practitioner's guide to the approaches, tools and techniques that help identify realities, insights and what it takes to gain buy-in and eventual success. 

Chapter 8 – Phase 2: Defining. 
Defining the SOI and the strategic framework that will support it. 

Chapter 9 – Phase 3: Aligning. 
Turning strategy into reality.

Chapter 10 – What it takes. 
Understanding the need for total commitment: Leadership appetite, organizational culture, investing in change. 


NEIL GAUGHT works with leading organizations to help them understand the dynamics of shared purpose and how a Single Organizing Idea can enable competitive advantage and culture change to be aligned, managed and measured. 

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